HELP loosing finger nails


I finished my chemo 3 weeks ago, FEC-T and over the weeks my nails have gone sort of light brown in colour. This morning I noticed my thumb nail on my right hand was a bit loose but then about 10 minutes ago I was doing something and my nail on my forefinger, left hand almost came right off. What can I do and has anyone else had this problem?


Hi Sheila

I have had 3 TC and had fairly long nails until this weekend when everytime I was doing something one of them snapped off!! so airing on the side of caution I have cut them all off so that they don’t catch on anything. Im sure I read somewhere that it is SE of Tax!!

Wendy x

Hiya , before I started tax I was adviced to wear dark nail varnish to prevent loss of nails and to wear shoes that covered my toes rather than flip flops etc. I finished tax in july and so far so good. The chemo nurse told me the sun light interacts with the chemo under your nails and can contribute to black or loss of nails. So keep your nails out of the sun when possible and wear dark nail varnish on all nails. Hope this helps, all the best.

I lost my hair today ? was quite difficult, but I am relieved it’s all done as no more getting up worrying what state it will be in!.. I realise now how little I knew about all this ! I was clueless that we could lose fingernails , i really hope i can avoid that one… My heart goes out to you , they will grow back but horrible to go through as you say its so visible .
Hope you manage to keep all the rest ,
Sending hugs xxxx

I too was distressed when my finger nails fell off. The upside is that they did start to grow back within about 6 weeks of radiotherapy finishing. I rubbed almond oil into them to encourage their growth and, because they grew back very soft and fragile, I had shellac put on them at a salon. It made them appear stronger and didn’t damage the nails underneath. I’m a complete shellac convert now! Good luck with the remainder of your treatment - you will get there in the end and it will all be worth it. Xxxx

They gave me a paper cap to wear over my hair when I had my line in last week as it was falling out so bad I was worried that it would shed all over the place , so I think it would be a good idea to mention it so it’s one less thing to worry about ! Xxx

Hello ladies. Just come across this thread. I am one of the ‘wore dark polish but losing my nails’ group. My nails seemed to be doing well until almost the end of chemo when some of them started to separate from the cuticle end. 6 weeks from the end of chemo I have now lost two fingernails and one toenail and other fingernails are clearly going to go as well. I am finding this more difficult than losing my hair because it looks horrible and feels sore since The new fingernails don’t even come halfway up the nail bed. Currently having to wear finger bandages. If any more go I may have to resort to gloves! This is a side effect which seems to be downplayed in the literature. I have been surprised by how much it has affected me. This may be, of course, because other bigger anxieties like whether the chemo will work, whether I will need a mastectomy, have been dispelled.

Hi Joan
Can you tell be how it started please? I am only on 2nd fec and my finger ends are becoming dry and painful … I am loading cream on but the skin seems to be cracking , I am using dark polish as that’s what i was told to do …I really feel for you its an awful side effect that I knew nothing about before as you say it’s hardly mentioned ! A friend told me about it as it happened to her mum … Before that i was clueless never heard of it! … It’s so visable and there is no wig to cover them up is there ! I am going to get my looking good feeling better DVD out and see what the advice is on there… If there are any good tips I will post them xx

Hi Ladies. There is a hair weave you wear under a hat or scarf to give the appearence of hair run by a charity called Heather’s Hair I order one and it saved my sanity as found my wig just too much hair. Hope they can help any of you.

I have just been diagnosed and told I will be having chemo. I was aware I was going to loose my hair but knew nothing about loosing nails. Is this true, can painting them help?

Thanks in advance